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Audio volume misbehavior at low volume

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by Electric Joe, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Electric Joe

    Electric Joe Member

    Apr 15, 2015
    Howell, MI
    I picked up my Model 3 in October, VIN 93xxx. I'm no audiophile, but I do appreciate good quality audio, and am bothered by very low bitrates or other distortion. I really loved the premium audio in my Model S and expected the Model 3 to be similar to that. The audio system in the Model 3 has been praised by reviewers, and in general I like it, but when the volume is down around 10% or lower, such as when I have a passenger in the car and we're occasionally talking over the music, or when I am just trying to relax, the volume does something that I find unacceptably annoying. It seems to do what some TVs do when you enable "volume normalization". All audio is adjusted to be heard at the same volume, whether it's a whisper, a guitar solo, or a trumpet blast.

    For example, if the volume is low and a song comes on that starts with only vocals, then after a while a loud drum section starts on top of the vocals, the volume drops so that the drums are the same volume as the vocals previously were, and the vocals are very quiet. Then when the drums stop and the vocals continue, the volume rises again and I can hear the vocals clearly. Of note, if the volume is high, say, 25% or more, this does not happen.

    This behavior is tolerable when listening to a podcast where relative volume levels aren't that important, but for music it's an awful effect. I've never heard anyone else ever complain about this, so I wonder if it's some unique thing with my car. I've disabled the immersive audio options and tried different audio sources including FLAC files on a flash drive, but the issue persists. It's happened since Day 1, and the car has gone through several software updates since then. It's so nuanced that I hesitate to bring it up, but it really is one of the things I like least about my car and would love to find a solution!

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